The Windows Phone 8 “Apollo” feature list

Windows Phone 8 560x117 The Windows Phone 8 Apollo feature list

Last Updated: October 1, 2012

Last year, Microsoft added more than 500 features to its mobile operating system as part of the Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” update. When the company officially unveiled the update near the end of May 2011, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proudly touted Mango’s 500 features. But with no further details available, we decided to take on the job of maintaining a list of every publicly announced feature in the update. “The Great Windows Phone Mango Feature List” quickly became one of the most popular features in the history of our site. With details about Windows Phone 8 “Apollo” beginning to surface, we decided it was time to do it again.

As with last year, we have broken down the list into four categories: new, confirmed, rumored, and debunked. New features are just that, brand new. This category includes never-before-seen features direct from Microsoft. Rumored features, on the other hand, are unconfirmed. They run the gamut from reliable to wild speculation. Confirmed features were previously rumored, but later confirmed by the software giant. Debunked features, finally, started off as rumors and were eventually proven false.

The main problem with coming up with such a list is deciding what constitutes a feature. At MIX 11, for example, Microsoft announced that the Mango update included over 1,500 new APIs. Obviously, each new API can’t be counted as a feature. If they were, Ballmer’s figure would have been at least four times larger. So what does count as a “feature?” We decided to count fairly obvious changes and improvements, rather than every single tiny detail. This means Local Scout is counted as a single feature, rather than a collection of sub-features like nearby locations, favorites, etc. We did, however, count bigger things like indoor maps. Each visual change shouldn’t count as a feature, so they are combined into groups for each hub. Finally, when it came to developer features like the aforementioned APIs, only the major ones were counted.

So, without further ado, here is the list of features included in Windows Phone 8, codenamed “Apollo.” Each feature contains a link to the most recent information on the subject. We tried to make the list as comprehensive as possible, but there’s always a possibility that we left something out. If you notice something missing, feel free to leave a comment below.

New

  1. Redesigned Start screen
  2. Multitasking enhancements
  3. In-app payments
  4. 50 languages
  5. 180 countries
  6. Early access program for updates
  7. Wireless over-the-air updates
  8. DirectX and Direct3D gaming libraries (and physics engines like Havok)

Confirmed

  1. App backwards-compatibility
  2. Shared Windows 8 core
  3. Multi-core processor support (up to 64 cores)
  4. Support for removable microSD card storage
  5. NFC
  6. Wallet (including deals)
  7. Internet Explorer 10 Mobile
  8. Nokia Maps with 3D navigation
  9. Three screen resolutions
  10. Native code support for apps
  11. VOIP integration (including Skype)
  12. BitLocker device encryption
  13. UEFI secure Boot
  14. Remote management
  15. Company Hub and apps (including Private distribution of Windows Phone apps for businesses)
  16. Improved voice integration with third-party apps
  17. Improved camera experience (including Camera Extras apps)
  18. Xbox LIVE Games app
  19. Screenshots
  20. Auto-upload full resolution photos to SkyDrive (off, good quality via data, best quality via WiFi)
  21. Customize the address bar button (favorites, stop/refresh, tabs)
  22. Updated notification count on live tiles
  23. Find on page in IE

Rumored

  1. App-to-app communication
  2. Data Sense (formerly Data Smart)
  3. Deep integration with Windows 8 and Xbox “vNext”
  4. Deeper SkyDrive integration
  5. Local Scout with personal recommendations
  6. Proxy server for faster web browsing
  7. Find nearby WiFi hotspots with Local Scout
  8. Sensor fusion
  9. Shared experience between Microsoft’s entertainment offerings (Windows, Windows Phone, Zune, and Xbox)
  10. Support for Exchange ActiveSync
  11. Global search
  12. Navigate phone storage using SkyDrive
  13. Bing integration into the Marketplace
  14. Office 2013 apps
  15. 3D map landmarks
  16. New map views
  17. Auto-launcher file associations
  18. App-to-app/device Bluetooth communication
  19. Auto-upload for photo apps
  20. Lock screen notifications for apps
  21. Lock screen wallpaper changer for apps
  22. Phone backup (app list + settings, text messages, and photos + videos, and IE favorites)
  23. Picture transfer from phone to SD card
  24. Show nearby WiFi hotspots on the map
  25. SMS/MMS delivery confirmation
  26. Show downloaded email attachments in the Office Hub
  27. Together pivot in the People Hub for Groups
  28. 20 accent colors
  29. Choose lock screen wallpaper from a photo or Bing
  30. Multiple text-to-speech voices
  31. File picker / Win32 API access
  32. Rotate and crop photos
  33. Multi-select for certain file types (like photos)
  34. Windows 8′s suite of emoticons
  35. Block browser cookies from specific websites and apps
  36. Eight apps for fast app switching, rather than five
  37. Email dictation
  38. Image cycling on live tiles
  39. Bing Local Deals
  40. Bing News
  41. Bing Top Videos
  42. Local Events
  43. Search from the lock screen
  44. Personalized suggestions
  45. Custom audio alerts
  46. Windows Store branding
  47. Live tiles for groups in the People Hub
  48. Kid’s Corner
  49. Companion app on Windows 8
  50. Rooms
  51. Type ahead for keyboard
  52. Dark email theme
  53. Search Windows Phone Store by developer name
  54. Opened email attachments section in Office
  55. Option to always enable Battery Saver
  56. Detailed storage distribution
  57. Auto-upload videos (off, good quality via WiFi, and best quality via WiFi)
  58. Enable/disable SMS/MMS delivery confirmation
  59. Change text size
  60. Screen magnifier and high contrast
  61. Caller ID announcement
  62. Manually check for phone updates
  63. Auto-download updates
  64. Company app accounts
  65. Enable/disable game notifications and sync game requests
  66. Send Do Not Track request to websites
  67. Allow websites to store files on my phone
  68. Download maps for offline usage
  69. Xbox Music cloud collection
  70. Auto-upload photos/videos to apps
  71. Wallet PIN
  72. Multiple text-to-speech voices
  73. Improved APN settings
  74. Downloadable text suggestions
  75. Share directly from the app list
  76. Disappearing playback controls on the lock screen

Debunked

  1. TBD

As with last year, we consider this to be a living document. We’ll be updating this list as more features are revealed, confirmed, rumored, and debunked. With Windows Phone 8 promising to be a fairly major update, it will be interesting to see how large this list will become by the time it is released. For more news on Apollo, check out the rest of our coverage.

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